Only half of PNG’s MPs vaccinated against covid, reveals Post-Courier

PNG Prime Minister James Marape being vaccinated
One of the few Papua New Guinean parliamentarians fully vaccinated against covid-19 ... Prime Minister James Marape was the first in his country to get the jab at the end of March. Image: PNG PM Media

PNG Post-Courier

Half of Papua New Guinea’s parliamentarians are still not vaccinated despite widespread calls from the government, the business community, churches and civil society for people to get vaccinated.

A Post-Courier survey over the past few weeks showed that only 57 Members of Parliament out of 109 — two MPs have died — have been fully vaccinated.

The survey carried out by the paper and published in the weekend edition indicates the following:

  • National Alliance – all 9 MPs fully vaccinated
  • Pangu Party – 22 vaccinated out of 38 MPs
  • United Resource Party – 5 vaccinated out of 8 MPs
  • Social Democratic Party – 2 of their MPs fully vaccinated
  • Our Development Party – 2 of their MPs fully vaccinated
  • People’s National Congress Party – 3 out of 14 MPs vaccinated
  • United Labour Party – 1 out of 8 MPs recorded being vaccinated

Most of the two-men and one-man party members have also received their vaccinations, while others have refused, or have not been reachable.

It was confirmed that most of the party leaders have been vaccinated, but their MPs have not.

When asked what their reasons were for refusing the vaccination regimes, their answers varied.

Some MPs ‘scared’, some read ‘too much’ social media
Some members told the Post-Courier they were scared, others said they were still sceptical of getting jabbed, some said they were still deciding, while a few said they read too much on social media and were not sure.

Three others joked they did not want to “turn into beasts”.

This comes as the nation is hesitant in its vaccination drive and the country’s National Control Centre and government struggle to administer its approved vaccinations.

The results also come as the Control Centre now battles a surge in covid-19 cases and the Delta variant with 10 provinces now declared high risk — including Western, Chimbu, Sandaun (West Sepik), Enga, Western Highlands, Hela, Eastern Highlands, Jiwaka, Morobe and Southern Highlands.

Some of the leaders from these high risk provinces have not been vaccinated, according to the Post-Courier survey.

The newspaper has a list of all the MPs that have been jabbed and those that have not been vaccinated to date.

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